Peter, Paul And Mary
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Bruce Eder [allmusic.com]
The trio's second album is a little less distinctive than its predecessor, which doesn't mean that it isn't a beautiful record -- just less obviously compelling in its melodies, and perhaps slightly less optimistic in mood. Having expended some of their best material on their debut, the trio reached further for songs here, including the Paul Stookey co-authored "Big Boat" and Mike Settle's "Settle Down (Goin' Down That Highway)," neither of which clicked as singles, despite rousing vocals on both and some distinctive guitar virtuosity on the former. The group once again reached back to the 1940s activist folk song tradition with Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," but the track that everyone ended up knowing from Moving was from a very different corner of the folk tradition. "Puff, the Magic Dragon" was introduced here and rose to number one as a single (and even made the Top 10 in the R&B charts), helping propel Moving to number two as part of a 99-week chart run -- and in those days, it was taken as a beautiful and gentle children's song that adults could enjoy, the myth of the song's supposed "drug" message not appearing until 1966. Other highlights include the haunting "Pretty Mary" and the startlingly intricate "A 'Soalin'," which became a highlight of their live act as well.